13 Dec Big data can tell you everything – even how happy you are!
One of our partners, Arrow ECS, has recently launched a fascinating project, which really showcases the power of analytics. Named ‘‘How Happy Is London?’ the project collects, processes and continually refreshes around 2.6 billion different units of data from unconnected sources every day – all of which are freely available in the public domain. Data sources range from Transport for London alerts on possible disruptions, to weather updates from the Met Office, along with the use of sentiment words in conjunction with ‘London’ on Twitter.
The final output is a happiness indicator, which is refreshed from new data every 60 seconds – creating an up to the minute picture of the city’s mood. The data is digitally represented on the ‘How Happy Is London?’ website as a series of images of people and places in the capital, with the overall happiness indicator fluctuating between ‘business as usual’, through ‘happy’ and ‘life’s good’, up to ‘on top of the world’.
While a light-hearted topic, this project is particularly interesting on a number of levels. The hugely important role data plays is often overlooked. Nearly every new trend such as A.I, cognitive computing and IoT has data at its core. Sure, data is not as headline grabbing as the above-mentioned technologies, but none of them are possible without access to, and good integration between accurate and relevant data.
Yet the vast majority of organisations still do not have even the basic building blocks in place when it comes to managing and integrating data. All too often, we see organisations either rushing to buy data technology, or investing in new technology, which then does not deliver on its promise or expectation. They are all driven by a desire to stay one step ahead of the competition and carve out an advantage in an increasingly crowded and fast-paced environment.
Frustratingly, the technology to enable them to do this is available, it is just not being selected and implemented in the right way. In order to really unleash the potential of data organisations need to shift their mindset. This is not an easy task, but with access to the right skills and expertise, it is achievable – and that will make everyone happy!
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